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Q. My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years and we have two great kids. Our life is pretty good in all areas -- except our sex life. I've read all the books and articles about how love and sex changes as the relationship matures -- and I do believe we love each other more than ever before. But I sure miss the way sex used to be. Isn't there any way to continue that passion? Or is this the best it's gonna be?
Sallie Foley, MSW, co-author of Sex Matters for Women: A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Sexual Self (Guilford Press), answers:
A. Your question is wonderful in two ways. First, one of the reasons after 20 years of marriage that you have a good life is because you kept working on it. Second, continuing passion in a relationship is definitely not only possible, but also probable given what you've described. So, how do you get there? It all begins with the commitment to being passionate about your sexuality and sex life together. After the commitment comes the planning. Think about the things you might try together. As you follow through on your plans, it will give you both a sense of fresh joy and excitement. Your passion for each other has gotten sleepy. It's time to wake it up. Try new things. Think about different positions, read erotica to each other, or use a vibrator for fun. You can make lists of things you're curious to try and share them with each other.
Don't forget the power of foreplay. Not the in-bed kind, but the kind that leads us to want to make love. Playfulness during the day and extra kindnesses to each other can be great. And most individuals love the thrill of being told, when there are no strings attached, how absolutely special they are. When people feel good about themselves and committed to being creative as lovers, that's the best it's gonna be!